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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Pierre (or Pieter) Puyenbroeck (1804–1884)

Sculptor born in Louvain (died in Brussels). He trained with Gilles-Lambert Godecharle. In 1830, his entry for the Brussels Salon, Summer, was purchased by the Royal Park. In 1840, he established a large studio, one of the sculptors who acquired their skills there being Auguste Fraikin. The greater part of Puyenbroeck’s output was religious sculpture in various churches in Brussels; his most successful work in this field is generally held to be the Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral of SS. Michael and Gudula. For the façade of the same cathedral he carved figures of The Three Kings. Puyenbroeck also did the figures of Saint Augustine and Johannes Nepomuk on the façade of the church of Saint James on the Koudenberg. His statues for the Halle aux Draps (Lakenhalle or Cloth Hall) in Ypres were mostly destroyed during the First World War. He was a prolific portrait sculptor. In the Musées Royeaux des Beaux Arts, Brussels, are three of his marble busts: of his former master Godecharle (1837), of the painter Joseph Paelinck (1844) and of the museum’s first conservator, G.J.J. Bosschaert (after Godecharle). He executed the marble relief portrait of Emma Soyer for her monument (inaugurated 1844) in Kensal Green Cemetery and contributed a Cupid in the Rose to the 1862 International Exhibition in London.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 216–19; Oxford Art Online – Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Thieme-Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 27 (Piermaria–Ramsdell), Leipzig, 1933; P. Verbraeken, Living Marble. Belgian Sculptors 1800–1930 (n.d.), p. 68.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022